Unusual shedding

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by adrienne, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. adrienne

    adrienne Active Member

    We have several goats that are suddenly shedding a lot, and two that have shed so much so quickly that Im starting to see the skin on their backs. Their skin looks fine, no itching or flaking. The tail tips aren't bald and they don't have balding around the eyes. I'm wondering if this is a copper or zinc deficiency? A few factors:

    1. we have 2 very mild seasons and our goats do not grow winter coats
    2. we only have multi species pre mixed loose minerals available in our area (horse, cow, sheep, goat)
    3. we lost several babies last year due to selenium deficiency so we've given BoSe twice now (3 months apart) have seen some improvement in heat cycles and coat condition
    4. copper bolus is not available here, but we've ordered it from the States and it will arrive next month

    So, would you all just wait for the copper bolus or start giving zinc? I know selenium overdose can cause hair loss, but I'm inclined to say that's not it. We have very poor subtropical soil where there is lots of clay and run off. Our water source is mountain river water and has no smell, no taste and doesn't leave stains or deposits on the sink. The goats are pasture fed year round except for sprouted corn for the milkers. Very little alfalfa or other leguminous forage.
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  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You can give zinc but they are probably shedding their "winter" coat.
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  3. adrienne

    adrienne Active Member

    We are south of the equator by just a bit. Our day length on Dec 21 is about 12.5 hrs and Jun 21 is about 11.5 hrs. Their heat cycles are typically all over the place since we don't really have a fall season. Clusters of 2-3 heats (3 weeks apart) sprinkled randomly through the year. I figured they wouldn't shed like goats in the US. But then again, our chickens are molting right now. Any tips on zinc dosage? We can easily get human zinc supplements.
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  4. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    You can use "people" zinc. Mine really like the chewable ones, but you can use the others - I would crush them and add. I'm not sure how large your goats are, but I would dose them this way: If they are over 32Kg (70 pounds), I would give them the recommended people dose twice a day for 2-3 weeks. Then I would cut back to once a day and keep going until the hair grows back in. After that you can experiment by decreasing the number of days you dose each week until you figure out what your particular goats need.

    If your goats are smaller than 32Kg (70 pounds), then just half the dose.

    I hope that helps!!!
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  5. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    What is the recommended people dose?
  6. adrienne

    adrienne Active Member

    That's very helpful, thanks! Any risk of giving them the zinc if it isn't a zinc deficiency causing the hair loss? And I'm wondering if I should only give it to the ones that are shedding? it's maybe 5 of our 18 goats that have moderate to severe shedding.
  7. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    I wouldn't think zinc could hurt. Only thing is that zinc can sometimes be antagonistic towards copper.

    I would use Zinpro. It's quite a reputable source of zinc for goats.

    But I've heard good things about the TruCare top dressing for goats and coat health.
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  8. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    I agree - and I would only give it to the goats that are symptomatic. It may take a few weeks before you'll be able to tell if it is helping.
  9. adrienne

    adrienne Active Member

    Since we don't have any goat specific products here, I have to use the human tablets. But... it says not to give to pregnant ladies. Does this mean goats, too? Several of the shedders are pregnant. One is due in 2 weeks, the others have a ways to go still.
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    It could be hormonal shedding.
  11. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    I think you are doing a fantastic job. We in the States can get almost anything we want at almost any time we want, and we sometimes forget that isn't so for everyone.

    On the other hand, the necessity for breeding goats that will do well on what is locally available is much more pressing, and therefore a much more attainable goal, for goat owners elsewhere.

    Do you have the ability to post a picture of what you are seeing? If it truly looks like normal shedding, that will tell us something. If it truly looks like something else, then we'll no longer tell you, "It's probably just shedding."

    ZinPro is a corporation that sells in MANY countries, and maybe Ecuador is one of them. I'll see what I can find out.
    Edit: South American Representatives

    Too much zinc will cause a copper deficiency. Not the end of the world, but not something you want to cause, either... ZinPro has mineral mixes that are high in copper, but I'm not sure what is available to you in Ecuador.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  12. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    What about parasites? mites lice
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